It’s Whale Shark Season!

Foto: internetFoto: Internet

The whale sharks have returned once again to Quintana Roo. Whale shark season runs from June to September, until the time has come for them to move to their next destination.

In the meantime, you have the chance to live one of the most stunning experiences in life, swimming next to them and being able to see them in their natural environment.

Whale sharks are the largest fish on the planet and with a life span of 70 – 100 years they can reach up to 40 feet long (12 meters) and weigh an average of 5 tons, though larger and heavier have been spotted.

Surprisingly for such a large mammal their mouths are filters feeders, meaning that they cannot bite or chew so their diet consists mostly of plankton which makes them completely harmless to humans.

Related: 10 Interesting Facts About Whale Sharks

In the Yucatan Peninsula you can take advantage of this annual gathering of the whale sharks at Holbox or at Isla Mujeres.

With a past record breaking number of 400 whale sharks arriving off the Yucatan Coast at one time, it’s one of the largest known gathering of whale sharks on record. You are almost guaranteed not to be disappointed.

The Island of Holbox is located on the north coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and is separated from the mainland by a shallow lagoon.

This Island is well known for its fishing and rural qualities but every year for the few months the whale sharks appear the little fishing village is bursting with people wanting to welcome the whale sharks back.

It is good to consider that with the new toll way to Merida, you can get to Holbox in 1 hour and 30 minutes, for 90 pesos each way.

Related: 10 Things to Do in Merida

Foto: Internet

Isla Mujeres (Spanish for Island of Women) is approx. 13 kilometers off the Yucatan Peninsula coast with easy access to the Island from Cancun, which makes this island a great day trip for tourists.

Isla Mujeres is usually a quiet place, but with the whale sharks yearly visit this little island of under 13,000 inhabitants is booming during their short visit.

You can find many tour operators located around the tourist areas both in Holbox and Isla Mujeres (or even on-line).

They usually offer boat trips out to spot these amazing creatures or even to take you swimming with the whale sharks, the experienced tour guides and divers have been doing these tours for many years and will be able to give you the best advice when swimming with the largest fish on the earth.

Be sure to shop around to get the best price and value for your money!

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We make it happen!

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5 Sports Bar to Watch NFL Games in Playa del Carmen

Steelers will come face to face against Super Bowl champion, New England Patriots, to kick off the NFL season on September 10th. This promises to be an exciting season as teams from the East to the West, the North to the South, and everything in between fight for the ultimate title. Regardless of what team you are rooting for, we are all equally excited about the season kicking off! Football season is here and there are several sports bars where you can watch NFL games in Playa del Carmen!

If you’re living or traveling in Playa del Carmen during football season, you need to know where to go cheer for your team. Without further ado, here are five sports bars that you can watch NFL games in Playa del Carmen at – because who doesn’t enjoy chicken wings, draft beer and football?

1. Wah Wah Beach Bar

This sports bar is an all-time favorite among American expats residing in Playa del Carmen. It is the only sports bar throughout the city on the beach, so that is nothing but a win-win situation, regardless of the final score. Food is delicious, drinks are endless, and the environment is fun, fun, fun. With a huge stage (for music performances), 4 big flat screens and a projector, there is no better way to enjoy NFL, or any sport for that matter.

Location: 2nd Street North and the beach

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2. End Zone (or EZ Bar)

Another favorite among expats and locals alike, EZ Bar is a unique, down-to-earth sports bar in the heart of Playa del Carmen. There are screens for everyone, often playing more than one game. The backroom projection is always showing the most important game. Drinks and food are relatively cheap and delicious. EZ bar has customers all day long, so make sure to arrive earlier if you want to get a good seat for the NFL game!

Location: 5th Avenue between 12th and 14th Streets

3. Legends Sports Bar

Eight HD screens and a projector decorate this fun and lively sports bar. Legends offers an extensive finger-licking menu (hot dogs, burgers, hot wings), and don’t forget their wide array of beer options. This sports bar is up to date with all sports and is more often than not showing the most popular games around; so make sure to check what they will be playing before heading there.

Location: 16th Street between 5th and 10th Avenue

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4. McCarthy’s Irish Pub

This Irish pub recently opened its doors in Playa del Carmen, but comes from an extensive family of pubs around Mexico. Famous for its live music weekends, it never forgets its sports fans. Their motto “eat, drink, be Irish” could easily be interpreted as “eat, drink, and come watch sports”. Again, like many sports bars, they will be playing the popular game, so make sure you know what you are going to go watch!

Location: 5th Avenue corner with 22nd Street

5. Tequila Barrel

For some American expats this bar can be “too American”, but it certainly is unique when it comes to sports. An inside air-conditioned room with a huge screen and betting machines are the perfect scenario for sports fanatics. Football, air-con, friends, delicious American food, beer, and an overall exhilarating ambiance make this place a fun sports bar. You can’t go wrong in Tequila Barrel. Now if you’re going for cheap, head to one of the above mentioned bars.

Location: 5th Avenue between 10th and 12th Streets

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There is still a month left until kick off, but if you’re a true sports fan you’re already planning your calendar and social events around your team’s scheduled games! Now you know where to go watch the games if you’re looking for entertainment and a little bit of rivalry! Happy football season!

Top Mexico Real Estate is a leading real estate website selling properties in the Riviera Maya and throughout Mexico. If you’re looking to enjoy every NFL season for the rest of your life in paradise (which you really should be thinking about), then contact one of our Top Mexico Buyers’ Representatives! They will gladly guide you through the process of purchasing real estate and possibly engage in NFL talk with you.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We Make It Happen!

Experiencias Xcaret: 6 Experiences, 6 Times the Fun

If you’ve ever been to or heard of the Riviera Maya, you have probably heard about Xcaret. It is one of the biggest ecofriendly touristic and natural parks in the area, attracting thousands upon thousands of tourists per year. Although some may consider it pricy, it is worth every penny you invest. The Xcaret family has expanded over the past 20 years and now has a total of six parks ranging from eco-natural parks, to adventure parks, to culture parks. There is something for everyone! Check out the list of Xcaret parks and their highlights:

  • Xcaret

Priced at approximately $129 USD (for the full package, including transportation), Xcaret is one of the most popular destinations in the Riviera Maya. The park offers a full days’ worth of fun water activities, learning opportunities, culinary experiences, and much more. You can swim down the underground rivers, visit the butterfly pavilion, visit the newborn macaws, the jaguar island (where you can spot jaguars and panthers), or just walk around the park exploring every corner of it. Churches, haciendas, restaurants, observation towers, archeological sites, and much more, make up the 200 acre space. Don’t forget to stay until the end to enjoy the amazing Mexico Espectacular show featuring live music, traditional folkloric dances and a journey through Mexico’s history.

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  • Xel Ha

The aquatic-themed park is located approximately 120km south of Cancun. Also priced at $129 USD, this park offers less activities than Xcaret, but more food and drinks! With an unlimited buffet, beverages, and national open bar, you will enjoy a – literally- full day. You can swim down the river and into the cove while snorkeling and observing the beautiful life. Xel Ha, after all, claims being the biggest natural aquarium in the Riviera Maya. Amongst the many activities, you can also purchase swimming with dolphins, Sea Trek, amongst other fun extra activities.

  • Xplor

Although the park uses the natural surroundings, caves, underground rivers, and jungle, it is much more focused on adrenaline and adventure. The $149 USD per person entry fee includes an unlimited buffet, zip line circuits, river rafting circuits, circuits for amphibious vehicles, and two river circuits to snorkel in. The four activities take all day to go through, so it is recommended to bring comfortable shoes and be ready for a lot of walking and, especially, fun! They have recently opened Xplor Fuego, which is essentially the same thing except at night. Everything is illuminated with fire, making it a whole different experience for only $99 USD.

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  • Xichen

Chichen Itza isn’t a park, under the strict description or general idea of what a park is; however, Experiencias Xcaret now offers tours to Chichen Itza as part of the many activities tourists can do while visiting the Riviera Maya. The archeological site tour is 12 hours long, but is as luxurious as it gets. Besides having an experienced – and bilingual – guide with you throughout the tour, and having the opportunity to visit the beautiful ancient Mayan civilization, the luxury tour includes a light gourmet breakfast, drinks, a visit to the wonderful Valladolid City, a cenote, lunch buffet, and a unique experience that will leave you longing to visit all the other archeological sites in the region.

  • Xenotes

Everyone tells you that you must visit at least one cenote when visiting paradise. But it’s so hard to choose just one from all the many options out there, and even more, what type of cenote should you visit? The Xenotes tour offers a nature-filled day at four cenotes (of different types). The price is $119 USD and you get snacks, coffee, breakfast breads, a glam picnic, rappel, kayak, zip lining, and snorkel. Just like Chichen Itza, it isn’t a park in itself, but rather an adventure offered by the same company that has given millions of people memories for life.

  • Xoximilco

This glammed up version of the original Xochimilco is located just a few minutes south of Cancún. Trajineras (traditional Aztec boats) are pushed with long sticks by experts down beautifully landscaped canals while guests enjoy a night to remember. Each trajinera can carry up to 22 people; whether you are here with many friends, or about to make new friends, you will have an experience of a lifetime. The $119 ticket includes a cruise through the canals at night, a three-course Mexican meal with an open bar of tequila, beer, fresh water and soft drink, all while being accompanied by different traditional ensembles playing music through the cruise.

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We recommend that you visit Experiencias Xcaret website for further information about each amazing adventure that will leave you wanting more. Whichever park you choose to visit – or if you choose to visit more – you will find yourself diving into a world of adventure, nature, adrenaline, and excitement. These parks are made to be enjoyed with friends and family. Start booking your holidays and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Now, if you have any questions about any of the Xcaret experiences, about living in Mexico, buying property, or are interested in one of the many real estate options we have listed on our website, feel free to contact one of our Top Mexico Buyers’ Representatives who will gladly assist you on your journey to becoming a homeowner in Mexico.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We Make It Happen!

Cost of living Riviera Maya -vs- other popular retirement destinations in America.

People from all over the world are choosing Mexico as a retirement destination. More than a million foreigners live permanently in Mexico, and about 50,000 snowbirds spend part of the year in this beautiful country.

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We have covered in other blogs the many benefits that Mexico offers its expats: easy straightforward immigration policies, cheap medical bills, warm weather and beautiful settings. But there is also another reason, the lower cost of living in Mexico.

Living in Mexico can reduce your bills dramatically, but do not take our word on it; let the numbers speak for themselves. We have selected three top retirement spots in America and two cities in the Yucatan Peninsula, to do a cost of living comparison on everyday items and services.

*The Lowest values are marked in gree

Phoenix, AZ Miami, FL Tampa, FL Playa del Carmen Merida, Yucatan
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 11.50 13.00 10.00 4.10 5.29
Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 43.50 60.00 50.00 32.42 20.48
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 6.00 6.62 7.00 4.61 5.46
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 3.25 3.72 3.50 1.71 1.37
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 5.00 4.48 5.00 2.73 2.25
Cappuccino (regular) 3.61 3.34 3.66 2.18 2.44
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 1.48 1.61 1.59 1.02 0.74
Water (0.33 liter bottle) 1.23 1.32 1.10 1.15 0.55
Milk (regular), (1 liter) 0.75 1.03 1.05 0.96 0.98
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 2.29 2.59 2.40 1.73 1.54
Rice (white), (1kg) 3.18 2.44 2.83 0.68 1.06
Eggs (12) 2.20 2.63 2.28 1.17 1.59
Local Cheese (1kg) 7.80 9.96 11.83 4.44 6.37
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg) 5.84 8.49 7.38 5.12 6.46
Apples (1kg) 3.43 4.03 4.00 2.01 2.00
Oranges (1kg) 4.41 3.13 4.05 0.78 3.04
Tomato (1kg) 3.20 3.73 3.90 0.78 1.06
Potato (1kg) 2.46 2.70 2.40 1.13 1.18
Lettuce (1 head) 1.21 1.63 1.80 0.96 0.61
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.82 2.13 1.64 0.92 0.75
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 12.00 12.00 11.00 7.17 6.14
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 2.50 3.80 2.13 0.80 1.16
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 2.08 4.62 3.07 1.54 1.18
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 7.50 7.00 6.38 3.41 3.41
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 2.12 2.25 2.00 0.48 0.48
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 64.00 113.75 60.00 N/A N/A
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.00 2.50 2.50 1.88 1.37
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 1.38 1.49 1.00 1.37 0.55
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 32.50 20.00 25.00 10.24 10.24
Gasoline (1 liter) 0.91 0.97 0.92 0.85 0.85
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 20,000.00 19,000.00 21,500.00 13,310.31 12,969.02
Utilities (Monthly)
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 173.60 173.54 150.31 91.30 133.10
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.12 0.25 0.13 0.11 0.24
Internet (6 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 49.38 48.42 47.22 22.17 25.04
Sports And Leisure
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 35.83 38.89 36.00 47.10 22.75
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 10.00 19.50 16.67 17.06 11.95
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 9.88 12.00 11.00 3.92 4.78
Clothing And Shoes
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 39.17 37.00 39.00 56.31 43.69
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) 21.33 57.86 33.71 20.48 59.16
1 Pair of Nike Shoes 67.00 78.33 75.44 75.08 64.85
1 Pair of Men Leather Shoes 70.00 80.83 79.25 40.95 52.33
Rent Per Month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 833.33 1,609.29 885.00 477.81 204.77
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 723.89 1,050.00 693.18 196.24 153.58
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 1,334.00 2,850.00 1,466.67 1,185.98 420.92
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,156.75 1,819.50 1,186.36 477.81 477.81
Buy Apartment Price
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 1,829.86 3,632.82 1,345.49 728.09 648.45
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 1,453.13 1,795.49 1,184.03 750.84 614.32
Salaries And Financing
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax) 2,767.86 3,151.83 2,834.99 739.46 418.65
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly 4.35 4.35 4.89 9.00 11.50
Source: Numbeo

As you can see in this cost of living comparison, the cost of living in Mexico is much lower. Even if you decide to spend only part of the year in Mexico, your pension or savings will surely stretch further!

If you have ever dreamed of retiring in Mexico, please feel free to browse our beautiful properties! We have modern condos, retirement communities, beachfront homes, jungle cabanas…. whatever you can dream of!

Our professional and certified real estate agents have the expertise and credentials to help you become a homeowner in Mexico.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate…

We make it happen!

Awaken the New Year with Yoga in the Riviera Maya

Every year, hundreds of visitors arrive to the Riviera Maya looking for the perfect getaway: tropical weather, sandy beaches and beautiful turquoise waters!  But there are some that look for something else, a combination between a relaxing holiday and the opportunity to deepen their Yoga practice.

Yoga is very popular all over the Riviera Maya, and hotels and specialized retreats cater to the needs of a growing number of tourists that look for yoga classes, specialized yoga retreats or even teacher training courses.

10 reasons to have your yoga getaway in the Riviera Maya!

There are many Yoga destinations, but something that makes the Riviera Maya so unique is the opportunity to mix your practice with marvelous experiences, such as:

  1. Explore ancient Mayan ruins.
  2. Enjoy the many beautiful beaches throughout the area.
  3. Experience the awe of swimming in an underground river.
  4. Go snorkeling, fishing or diving… you know you want to!
  5. Connect with nature, visit the many nature reserves in the area: Isla Contoy and Sian Ka’an are excellent natural havens.
  6. Wake up early and enjoy the wonderful sunrise.
  7. Look up to the starry night.
  8. Experience the sacred cenotes of the region.
  9. Escape the cold winter back home.
  10. Meditate on the beach.

And above all, experience and learn more about Yoga!!!

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A New Year of Yoga Retreats:

New Year’s Hot Bikram Yoga Retreat

Casa Om in Cancun

December 28th–January 3rd, 2015

Ring in the New Year and cleanse the soul at this hot Bikram Yoga Retreat. This retreat is an excellent way to take care of the mind and body after the busy holiday season and celebrate the New Year. Siri Om, the retreat instructor and owner of Casa Om, has a love for yoga that is effervescent and will inspire you to new heights in your practice. Casa Om is located directly across from the turquoise blue water of the Caribbean Sea. It features a swimming pool, koi pond, ten luxury bedrooms and a gourmet vegetarian kitchen with gluten free and vegan options. The one thing Casa Om suggests that you bring to the retreat is a spirit of adventure and an appetite for fun! Are you ready to ring in the New Year at Casa Om?


  • Accommodation (6nights)
  • Breakfast buffet daily
  • Four Gourmet dinners prepared by the exquisite Casa Om’s chef
  • Two yoga classes per day(hot room Bikram and Yoga on the pier overlooking the beach)
  • On-site swimming pool
  • Fun day in Playa del Carmen
  • Transportation to and from the Cancun International Airport

More information:

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Revive Your Vibe: Reset Your Mind, Body and Goals

Yoga Adventures of Tulum

January 6th-11th, 2015

Treat yourself to a yoga and meditation retreat in front of the Caribbean Sea with Adesina Dowers. What a great way to start off the New Year! This retreat will help you recoup from the busy hustle and bustle of the holidays and reset your mind and body while focusing your goals for the New Year. Tulum is a yoga paradise with tranquil, crystal clear waters, powdery white sand beaches, amazing yoga, great food, Mayan ruins, and healing powers rooted deep inside the earth. Start the day with an invigorating morning practice, enjoy healthy fresh meals, followed by free time to relax by the Caribbean Sea or explore the wonders of the area. Indulge in a fabulous Mayan spa treatment, cover yourself in Mexican clay to detox and purify your skin, meditate in the sun and then wash it away in the sea. Afternoon practice is a yin or restorative to wind down the day. You will reconnect and rejuvenate yourself in this amazing Mayan land.  You know you deserve it!


  • Accommodations of your choice (5 nights)
  • Breakfast daily
  • Delicious and healthy lunch daily
  • Two yoga classes per day
  • 90 minute healing massage
  • Group Mexican mud meditation in the sun
  • Welcome cleansing circle with local shaman

More information:

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Hot Yoga Teacher Training

La Calma Resort in Tulum

January 5th–February 1st, 2015

New Years has always been a time for making new resolutions and bettering yourself. If becoming a hot yoga teacher has always been one of your dreams, now is the time to set that goal and accomplish it. You can complete your yoga teacher training in paradise. Spend four weeks at the ideally spiritual La Calma resort and get your yoga teacher training certificate in a picture perfect location. Evolation hot yoga teacher training is a 250hr course focused on teaching the hot yoga Primary Series, originally defined by Bikram Choudhury. You will explore the essentials of yoga philosophy, anatomy and mechanics that underpin this sequence – in an inclusive and intimate training environment. You will also deepen your own yoga practice through intimate posture mechanics workshops, a variety of yoga classes and individual feedback. Are you ready to immerse yourself in an intensive 4 week yoga experience that will change your life?

More information:

Are you ready to trade in the cold weather and frozen tundra for balmy weather and a tropical paradise? Balance your chakra in the New Year in the Riviera Maya.

Living in Mexico: The Riviera Maya Ultimate Bucket List

So now that you own a slice of gorgeous Mexico real estate, you have all this free time in your hands.  You find yourself being more active then you’ve ever been.  When you look out your window and see your beautiful Caribbean paradise… you want get out there… and enjoy living in Mexico. So why not start with the ultimate bucket list that lives inside your head.  For most dare devils, a bucket list favorite might be something like… swimming with sharks.

Well let’s not get that crazy.

You would like to be alive long enough to enjoy living in Mexico.  So might I suggest swimming with the “whale sharks”?

(If you can’t see the video, click here.)

What is a whale shark? Is it a whale or is it a shark? Well they are a shark.

“What! And you want me to swim with them?”

Even though they are the largest known fish, with a record of 41.5 feet long, they are gentle giants.  Whale sharks are very docile fish that pose no danger to humans.

The whale shark is named after the whale because of their sheer size and feeding habits. The whale shark is a filter feeder, swimming close to the surface with their mouths open surviving on a buffet of plankton.

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Whale shark season is from June to September.  That is when the whale sharks migrate to Isla Mujeres to feed; an Island located just north of Cancun.  All you have to do is throw on your snorkel gear, jump in the water and swim with these massively impressive but gentle giants.

And guess what, you’re now swimming with sharks… and you get to live to tell about it!

Be adventurist, enjoy living in Mexico, go swim with the “sharks”.

And cross it off your list…

… It’ll be our little secret.

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Now if you have any question about this or any of the TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE properties we have listed in Playa Del Carmen, The Riviera Maya or anywhere throughout Mexico, please feel free to contact any of our TOP MEXICO EXPERT SALES TEAM and we will be glad to help you find your very own piece of paradise.

And remember, here at TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE

We make it happen! NETWORK; “Mexico’s Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely!”

Mexico Insurance Kit

10 Things to do on a rainy day: Riviera Maya Style

After planning your holiday carefully and making a long list of fun under the sun activities, you find yourself stuck in your hotel. The weather forecast is not looking good and you find yourself wondering if there anything you can do.

Even though the Mayan Riviera is famous for its beaches and many other water activities, a little bit of rain shouldn’t ruin your holiday. So go ahead and find about 10 different activities you can do on a rainy day, Riviera Maya Style.

  1. Chill: After all, that is what holidays are for. Book yourself on a day spa. Spend time in the sauna, get a massage, have a mani-pedi or that body wrap you always wanted and let the staff pamper you.
  2. Get dirty: Book a day at the ATV Park, mud makes things even more fun. The roads are slippery, which makes the experience so much better. We bet you it is going to be an amazing unforgettable experience.
  3. Go underground: It doesn’t matter if it is pouring outside, go ahead and have a tour at an underground river. This is a unique experience that you will never forget!!
  4. Have a private class: There is so many things you can learn, why not try that activity you were always curious about?. Do you want to master a few salsa moves? To try yoga or pilates on a one on one lesson? Learn how to make your favorite Mexican dish?? The options are endless.
  5. Go warrior: Try Gotcha, use your strategy and stamina and defeat your enemies. The rain and slippery floor makes the experience so much more fun!
  6. Have a cultural experience: Visit a museum or art gallery, go to the theater or enjoy a good film.
  7. Try Mexican hot chocolate. Chocolate comes originally from Mexico, where it was considered an aphrodisiac. Cocoa is roasted, grinded with sugar and spices and then added to milk or hot water, you will find it is different to hot cocoa. If you are feeling particularly adventurous have the chocolate with chili, it will blow your mind.
  8. Dive or snorkel: Enjoy the beauty of the reefs and the cenotes, you won’t mind getting wet if you are already under water.
  9. Take a jeep tour to the Sian K’aan Reserve: Two words, mud and 4×4 cars.
  10. Go shopping: try a covered shopping mall, visit the local grocery store or the local market. We are sure you will find something to buy.

Having a god time is all about attitude, do not let a few days of bad weather ruin your holiday. Go around with an open mind and make sure to have fun every single day.

-By Bea Lozano

Mexico Insurance Kit

Exploring the Underwater Wonders of Playa del Carmen – Saturday Afternoon at Río Secreto!

Living in Playa del Carmen has a certain feel and allure that can sometimes seem indescribable. Playa has been growing so fast the last 10 years and yet it still somehow achieves to maintain its quaintness; and preserve its natural wonders, which are discovered on daily basis. One of those wonderful places is Río Secreto.

Rio Secreto was discovered in 2007, by a man who stumbled upon a hole in the ground, and set out to explore it. He did not know at this time, however, that he was discovering the longest, partially sunken, underground river system in the Yucatan Peninsula; reaching about 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) long and 15 outlets within different areas. It was formed over the centuries and is a very stunning yet fragile lime stone formation.

Do I need to be a cave diver to enjoy this reserve to the fullest?

Unlike most of the caves found across the Yucatan Peninsula, which are completely flooded, and consequently making it completely necessary to acquire special dive training to explore them, Río Secreto is unique because it is only partially flooded, not requiring special diving certification. There are even some areas you can walk on dry soil, making the experience of passing from one gallery to the other much more interesting, since you don´t really know what you may encounter!

Prepare to be amazed and learn something new about these mystical caves at the same time!

The adventure starts right at the entrance of the park. You jump into a van and they drive you on a dusty road deeper in the jungle until you get to the entrance of the cave. Here you will find bathrooms, changing rooms and a locker area where you will get geared up in a special wetsuit, water shoes, a helmet specially equipped with a lamp on it (like a pro) and life jacket. Then a Mayan Shaman will say a prayer for the group that is about to go in; and safety instructions will be provided at that time as well. Then you can be on your way! It should be noted that large groups are not allowed to enter all at the same time.

Once you get into the cave, your guide makes the whole experience incredibly unique.  They will show you the different types of rock formations, which do not stay on simple stalactites and stalagmites. You will discover curtains, towers and helectites; you can even see the roots of ancient trees making their way into the rocks to get water from the river! You will notice many different colors on the rocks due to the minerals they contain. It truly is a surprisingly alive new world!

Throughout the tour, your guide will answer every question you may have, and will give you directions on where to stand and what you are allowed (or not allowed) to touch, always keeping in mind that this is an ultra-fragile environment.

At some point you enter a dome full of stalactites at which point your guide will ask you to float and turn off your flash lights… I cannot tell you how this experience ends but I can only say that there´s nothing like it, trust me on this!

After a long tour, let´s go for a bite!

Once you end the tour, you are both happy and hungry! That´s why after you are out of the caves and change into your dry clothes, you´ll get to go to the Palapa and find a very tasteful and nutritive buffet dinner including soup, salads, a variety of mexican dishes, sweets and drinks. And why not relax for a while on a hammock, next to the Palapa, before heading back to your van to leave?

Rio Secreto is definitely a MUST do if you are visiting the Riviera Maya and/or living in Playa del Carmen! It is comforting to know that just a few miles south of your home, you can enter a magical underwater world!

If you are living in Playa del Carmen and want to know more about what there is to do in the area, be sure to follow our special Playa del Carmen blog.

-By Bea Lozano

Xplor Fuego! An Adventure not to be forgotten!

The creators of Xcaret outdid themselves when they created Xplor Adventure Park but they have gone beyond what they already created and offered a new twist on one of the leading experiences in the Riviera Maya!  This new hype is called Xplor Fuego!  Xplor took and extra step and decided to open its doors at night lighting up the entire park with fire and excitement! A friend of mine recently went and shared this with me:

“You enter the park just before dusk into a cave like environment! Come equipped with your bathing suit or clothes if you don’t mind getting wet.  Also, it is important to bring water shoes! You don’t need to change into dry clothes until the very end.  Expect to get when during all activities!  You can choose to start with any of 5 adventures.  You can swim through the underground river, take a paddle boat ride through the river, soar through the zip line circuit, drive through the amphibious jungle or eat in spectacular buffet. 

We decided to start with the swim through the underground river.  And we were glad to do so because after swimming through a magical underground cenote, lit up of all different colors, you end swimming thorough an amazing waterfall.  All of a sudden you realize you are in a cenote pool with the waterfalls all around you and when you look up the view and the feeling is absolutely incredible!


Now since we were already in the vicinity we wandered over to take a little stroll through the river in the paddle boat.  The ride was fun and the paddles were very easy and user friendly.  Again you experience more amazement in a different route of the underground river. 


Say Cheese!  Or shall I say, Tequila!!!  And be ready!  Because there are cameras throughout the entire area of the park and underground river!


By the time we were done with the underground river, the skies darkened!  We took a break to eat and enjoy a fabulous buffet including a real BBQ offering beef and pork ribs, hot dogs, hamburgers and baked potatoes.  Also an incredible salad bar with fresh and healthy veggie options with a variety of dressings and toppings.  Also, you can enjoy some other international items such as chicken kebobs, pizza, mozzarella sticks, and much, much more! And if that isn’t enough how about ice cream, coffee, hot chocolate and natural fruit water!  And it’s all unlimited!


After filling our bellies it was time to explore the amphibious jungle with an adventurous 4×4 jeep ride!  What an experience!  The path is set up through the jungle with hills, water, rocks, heavy terrain and bridges.  The jeeps are very equipped and safe for this kind of activity so go ahead and press the gas a little and head out in the moon light!  Keep those lights on!  If you turn them off you will sit still in absolute darkness! We tested it for the thrill!  Stopped of course! Don’t worry, you are not alone! There are check points along the way to be sure your car is working properly and can continue with the ride!  You will not get lost in the dark!  This activity was my husband’s absolute favorite!  Before moving on we refueled in the snack area to rest for a few minutes and enjoy Mexican sweet bread and hot cocoa. We couldn’t resist!!!


Now onto the zip line circuit! We started this adventure by walking up a very safe spiral path to the top of a tower where we took flight on zip line number one!  The zip lines are truly an incredible experience and even for me who is honestly afraid of heights this was my top pick for the entire park!  I have been zip lining during the day and enjoyed it but it is truly a different and unique experience to soar through the sky at night underneath the moon and stars!  It is a completely different feel and I highly recommend this experience!  The circuit consists of nine zip lines; the last one with a fun splash water landing! 


Although this was the last of the fun filled activities, it did not end our night!  Didn’t I mention that the buffet is unlimited!? Yep!  All this fun called for another refuel!  So we sat and enjoyed another meal and talked about what an incredible time we had!  This brought us up to right around 11 pm which was perfect timing to fit in all the activities, eat and relax! Before leaving we stopped to view all the awesome photos that had been snapped of us during the adventure!  You are not obligated to purchase these photos however we did!  They offer different packages for you to choose from. I must say that buying the photos are always worth it for me to be able to keep for memories!  And this one in particular was certainly a memorable experience!

 This experience was not a one-time stop for me;  I enjoyed it so much that I plan to return!  I hope that everyone out there will give this a shot; you will not be disappointed.”

So, I recommend Xplor – at night!  I’ll have to go check it out myself some time soon.


-by Bea Lozano
Mexico Real Estate Investment Kit

Calling all Divers to Cozumel!!!

Among the many possibilities you have here in the Riviera Maya to explore beauty and nature you have diving.


While some prefer to do a small snorkel, there are a ton of die-hard diver fans out there that travel from all over to arrive here to the Riviera Maya and Cozumel where you can experience the second largest coral reef in the world. There are even many expats living here just for this reason along with many tourists who flock here to explore the beauty and magic under the surface of the sea.


If you are one of these people then this may interest you:


June 24th-30th 2013 (that’s NOW!) is Diver’s Week in Cozumel where many hotels, restaurants and merchants will be offering great discounts for you divers out there who are participating in underwater activities during this time.


Along with a great diving experience and a nice vacation to boot, you can be part of some of the ongoing festivities including a special gala dinner, various parties and conferences. Also, you can search some special sales on your diving equipment! If you are already here and you love to dive this can be an incredible excuse to spend a few days in Cozumel, get underwater, meet other fellow divers and take advantage of great deals!


For more details about the event click here.


– by Bea Lozano


Mexico Insurance Kit